The Herald reports:
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has spoken of the moment she decided that gun laws had to change, and her shock at how easily it was to get destructive weapons in New Zealand.
In a sign of the importance of gun law reform, Ardern took the unusual step this evening of speaking at the third reading of the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines and Parts) Amendment bill, which is in the name of Police Minister Stuart Nash.
After an expedited process, the bill passed tonight with the support of all parties except for Act.
Ardern told the House about a briefing she had with Police Commissioner Mike Bush shortly after the terror attack on March 15, when he told her the gunman had obtained his firepower legally.
“I could not fathom how weapons that could cause such destruction and large-scale death could have been obtained legally in this country. I could not fathom that,” Ardern said.
“I could not hand-on-heart go down and face not just the media, not just the public, but the victims that had been left behind from this terror attack and tell them hand-on-heart that our system and our laws allow these guns to be available and that was okay. Because it was not.
“I made a decision after that briefing that I would go down that day and, without having the chance to question the Parliament, know that Parliament would be with me. And they were.”
On this issue I praise Ardern. It was IMO the right call. The law change won’t prevent bad people killing others in future. But it will make it harder for a killing of the scale we saw in Christchurch to happen again.
Ardern paid particular tribute to the National Party for supporting the bill.
Oppositions are not just there to oppose.